Buy Used
£2.79
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK. Your order will be picked, packed and dispatched by Amazon. Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

House of Sand and Fog (Oprah's Book Club) Paperback – 1 Feb 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 1 Feb 2000
£0.01
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; First Edition edition (Feb. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375727345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375727344
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,876,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Andre Dubus III wastes no time in capturing the dark side of the immigrant experience in America at the end of the 20th century. House of Sand and Fog opens with a highway crew comprising several nationalities picking up litter on a hot California summer day. Massoud Amir Behrani, a former colonel in the Iranian military under the Shah, reflects on his job-search efforts since arriving in the U.S. four years before: "I have spent hundreds of dollars copying my credentials; I have worn my French suits and my Italian shoes to hand-deliver my qualifications; I have waited and then called back after the correct waiting time; but there is nothing." The father of two, Behrani has spent most of the money he brought with him from Iran on an apartment and furnishings that are too expensive, desperately trying to keep up appearances in order to enhance his daughter's chances of making a good marriage. Now the daughter is married, he sinks his remaining funds into a house he buys at auction, thus unwittingly putting himself and his family on a trajectory with disaster. The house, it seems, once belonged to Kathy Nicolo, a self-destructive alcoholic who wants it back. What starts out as a legal tussle soon escalates into a personal confrontation--with dire results.

Dubus tells his tragic tale from the viewpoints of the two main adversaries, Behrani and Kathy. To both of them, the house represents something more than just a place to live. For the colonel, it is a foot in the door of the American Dream; for Kathy, a reminder of a kinder, gentler past. In prose that is simple yet evocative The House of Sand and Fog builds to its inevitable denouement: one that is painfully dark but unfailingly honest. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A page-turner with a beating heart.

[A] fine and prophetic novel.

A page-turner with a beating heart. "

[A] fine and prophetic novel. "

A mixture of classical tragedy perfectly imbued with film noir. . . . [T]he work of a writer who is the real thing.

Elegant and powerful. . . . An unusual and volatile literary thriller. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"House of Sand and Fog" is the story of people whose dreams, though fairly ordinary and mostly achievable, turn out to be built of highly illusive materials, such as sand (upon which you cannot build a house) and fog (through which you cannot see the truth).
Author Dubus tells the story from the perspective of three characters: Kathy Nicolo, who owns and loses a modest, 3-bedroom bungalow in northern California and who is a recovering coke addict and alcoholic; a former colonel from the Shah's Iranian military and now a legal citizen of America who acquires Kathy's house through a county auction; and an intelligent though troubled and dissatisfied American policemen who starts a relationship with Kathy after serving the official eviction notice
This is a book as much about the effects of bureaucratic mistakes and their attendant nightmares, as it is about people and their almost fated inabilities to break free of bad habits and destructive behaviours. At the same time, it's about life in a free country, dreams of betterment, and shaking free of the past.
Big themes. Well handled.
The different perspectives show the American dream and our unalienable rights --- shelter, prosperity, the pursuit of happiness or, failing that, at least a decent enough relationship. The reader is never really certain which character deserves the most empathy; they each have their fatal flaws and also their very real charms.
As the story builds to its tragic conclusion, you will find yourself completely gripped and increasingly worried. This is a page-turner. And it's very, very good. While the book could have done with some good editing towards the end --- maybe ten or 15 fewer pages, especially regarding Les Burdon, the policeman --- it is well worth reading and really memorable.
Highly recommended.
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 17 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
Other reviewers have described this book as unpredictable - it certainly is. There are so many twists and turns in this book, without it seeming they have been added for effect. The central characters are well drawn, the story original and profoundly touching and the ending...well, as others have suggested, it will wrench your heart. This book is a wonderful discovery and I can see why they have made it into a film, but cannot imagine how any film could do justice to the depth of the novel. It may sound trite to say it, but this book is worth your time. Wonderful.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is simply a masterpiece. It is an exceptionally well written and brilliantly told story of two people whose destinies become intertwined through a simple twist of fate. It is the story of what happens to them and to those who love them, when their respective worlds collide in a climactic and tragic ending.
It is the story of Colonel Behrani, a formerly wealthy Iranian, who had thrived under the regime of the Shah, only to have lost everything during his country's revolution. Now, he and his family find themselves undergoing the immigrant experience in America, working to maintain appearances among their fellow exiles, and finding the going hard. Working long hours at menial jobs, Colonel Behrani longs to be a master of the universe again.
It is also the story of Kathy Nicolo, a woman with some serious issues. She is a sad and pathetic bottom feeder, who has lost nearly everything in life, including the one thing that has kept her somewhat anchored: the house she inherited from her father. She is a loser and innocuous bumbler who has totally squandered her life. When she loses that which she holds most dear, her house, and is summarily evicted from it, she meets Sheriff Lester Burden, a married man with children, who is smitten by her. His obsession with her would lead him down a path from which there would be no return.
When Colonel Behrani's quest for the American Dream finds him with an opportunity to buy a house at a bargain basement price at a county auction, he plunks down the remainder of his family's life savings. At the time, he knows nothing of the circumstances of the county's possession of that house, Kathy's house. He and his family move in.
Read more ›
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This has to be the most unpredictable book I've ever read. Every time I thought I had the characters or the plot figured out the story took a new turn and surprised me all over again.
It's certainly not a light read and I wouldn't say that it falls into the page turner category, but it was one of the most unusual and eventful books I've read in a long time. Andre Dubus manages to describe the environment and the inner turmoil of the characters in a very accurate way and with an interesting and colourful choice of words.
There's no hero in this book. There are no innocents (other than perhaps the Colonel's son). The main characters are treated both with the sympathy and contempt they deserve. Rather than falling for the obvious trap of making one person the victim, Dubus shows them for what they are, human and fallible, and this only adds to the readability of this book. As the reader you're torn between whom to side with as you can see both parties' point of view, but nothing will prepare you for the ending.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback